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Paper info: Business Networking For Sustainable Development


Business Networking For Sustainable Development


Joanna Wi?niewska-Paluszak and Grzegorz Paluszak

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 32nd IMP-conference in Poznan, Poland in 2016.


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The main research question of the paper is: what are the motivations for business to network for sustainable development. In order to answer this question two kinds of studies have been done. Firstly, the review of the literature has been done. Two sets of theories have been considered as suitable to answer the question – the theory of industrial ecology and the theory of industrial networks – because both of them define business as a systematic network of related modes which is characterised by interrelation between nodes and flows. The review of the theories let to the assumption that the incentives for business to network for sustainable development are exogenous. The exogenous incentives may come from NGO’s like in the IKEA case (Håkansson and Waluszewski, 2002). The exogenous incentives may come also from public policy towards sustainable development like public initiatives fostering the development of eco-industrial parks and eco-industrial networks (Desrochers, 2001). Nevertheless, the Kalundborg Industrial Park was never planned for industrial symbiosis, and was spontaneously developed over a period of 20 years (Ehrenfeld and Gertler, 1997). Secondly, in order to answer the research question the case study has been conducted. For the case study the network of the Polish green bank has been selected. The assumption has been made that the green bank provides the exogenous incentives in form of investments and finance to network for sustainable development. A green bank is a linkage between the industrial networks and industrial ecology, because its mission is to combine business and ecology for the benefit of customers. A green bank is a state chartered and state capitalized lending institution designed to fill gaps in private market finance for clean energy generation and energy efficiency. It is a public or quasi-public financing institution that provides lowcost, long-term financing support to clean, low-carbon projects by leveraging public funds through the use of various financial mechanisms to attract private investment so that public money supports multiple moneys of private investment (Coalition for Green Capital, 2014). This paper results in providing confirmation that there are different exogenous incentives for business to network for sustainable development like NGO’s, public policy or even public investments and finance. But the network for sustainable development depends finally on links which are negotiated as an independent business deal, and are established only if they are expected to be economically beneficial. The results of this paper contribute to IMP Group theory contributes by showing the role of the eco-financier in the organising the sustainable industrial network.